Hi there, thanks for taking the time to read my question. I have a start-up, whose product is a marketplace that allows college applicants (primarily, high school students) to get 1-on-1 coaching from current college students. My product offers affordability and accessibility of high-quality help to students, many of whom go through immense stress while applying for colleges. My start-up has product-need fit, but not product-market fit. I started this with my friend last August, but he has since quit for personal reasons. But I am going full steam ahead, and putting all my savings (and borrowed money, which I know is not a good idea) into developing a proper web app for my MVP Version 2! With a few new features, I believe this time I can achieve Product-Market Fit ("PMF"). But my road to achieving PMF will be hamstrung if I don't have money to either 1) continue going; or 2) have to scale down my go-to-market efforts, which will only hurt the product achieving PMF. I really would like to start connecting with investors (angels, preferably) to ask advice, but hey - I don't mind if they wanna invest cuz they love the idea, right? ;) One Clairty mentor I spoke to said "If you want to ask for money, ask for advice." Frankly speaking, that is exactly what I want to do! Thank you so (so) much for taking the time to read my question. I appreciate your help. Wishing you all the best for you and your loved ones.
There are a number of different ways of reaching angel investors.
First, identify the type of angel investor you are looking for.
Then initially look within your own network, share what you are doing and you might be surprised.
Next research where your investors hang out and try and be part of the conversation.
Maybe there are incubators or accelerators that would be suitable and who can support you or facilitate investor introductions, meetings, and pitch events.
Maybe it might make sense to seek a grant or get funding from a partner who would also benefit such as in the education sector?
Another option that takes time is to find and connect to your investor audience through networks such as LinkedIn.
You can then nurture those relationships over time, ask for advice, keep them updated, take conversations offline, and establish trust.
Then probably after 6+ months of nurturing when you do raise funds, you should have earned a warm relationship that will allow you to approach them with regards to potentially funding your business.
Warm intros are definitely the best approach. Once you have your initial investors keep building relationships and they may recommend new investors next time round.
Worth noting with angels there is smart and dumb money and you may find that a coach/mentor from your sector provides more value compared to an angel who may be able to support you but on a more general high level. But as a rule of thumb always ask for support, your investors will usually provide, they are aligned with your potential success.